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    Light Your World Blog

    Day-Brite Celebrates 100 Year Milestone in Business!

    July 7, 2023
    The “Day-Brite Reflector Company” was incorporated in 1923 in St. Louis by D.J. Biller and O.W. Klingsick and became a leading supplier of troffers in the industry for years. Today, Day-Brite CFI continues to be an industry leader in general-purpose and performance lighting systems, offering products ranging from high-performance recessed ceiling troffers to industrial-grade high bay luminaires.
    day-brite lighting old poster


    For this centennial celebration, we want to highlight some of the key moments of Day-Brite’s history as a trailblazer in lighting.

    Day-Brite's History Through the Years


    1922 - The "Day-Brite" name is given to patented Porcelain Enamel Reflector for showcase lighting fixture. 

    1923 - "Day-Brite Reflector Company" is incorporated in St. Louis by D.J. Biller and O.W. Klingsick.

    1937 – The name “Day-Brite Reflector Company” is changed to “Day-Brite Lighting, Inc.”
    1947 – The Tupelo factory opens in Mississippi.

    1955 – Day-Brite goes public.

    1960 – Emerson Electric purchases Day-Brite.

    1978 – Tupelo, MS becomes Day-Brite headquarters. 

    1989 – Thomas industries purchases Day-Brite. 

    1998 – Genlyte forms joint venture with Thomas Lighting - acquiring Day-Brite brand.

    2008 – Philips purchases Genlyte, acquiring Day-Brite brand. 

    2023 – Day-Brite celebrates the 100th anniversary in June at the Tupelo Headquarters.

    day-brite centennial anniversary logo

    The Birthplace of the Day-Brite Culture: Tupelo, MS


    Over two decades after Day-Brite opened its first location in St. Louis, Missouri in 1923, Day-Brite opened a facility in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1947—a factory that was the largest fluorescent lighting manufacturing facility in the U.S. for years.

    tupelo factory

    This facility's opening not only had a significant impact on the lighting industry but also the town in which it operated. The factory produced around 2 million luminaires a year with a flexible manufacturing philosophy that allowed for building up to 70 different products at a time.


    Day-Brite was the first major industry to locate in Tupelo after the second World War, inspiring other manufacturers to move to the local area. From the opening of the Tupelo factory, Day-Brite was the first major regional employer and one of the largest employers in the local area for years to come.


    Not just a Factory, but a Family


    Craig Wright, Product Manager for Signify, summed up his employee experience with Day-Brite in one word: family. “We were a close-knit group of people,” he said. “We care. We’re passionate about filling the requirements of the customer...We carry that mantra of customer first.”


    For customers, that sense of familiarity came from the connection with the people at Day-Brite. For many decades, customers knew they could call and get a “warm body” on the other end of the phone to answer their questions, offering a much more personal experience than an automated 1-800 number.

    metal guitar
    Metal guitars made by Tupelo operations for specifiers at factory training and tours, celebrating the local connection between Tupelo and Elvis Presley.


    The Day-Brite culture creates a work family that continues beyond the term of service. Even after retirement, Day-Brite employees stay connected and dedicated to the brand. At the 100-year celebration in Tupelo on June 21st, the team welcomed retirees back to enjoy the festivities as they shared memories of their work experiences with Day-Brite.

    day-brite party
    100-Year Anniversary Celebration in Tupelo, MS
    day-brite celebration
    Retiree Will Garnett celebrating the Day-Brite anniversary in Tupelo, MS


    Lindsey Mulrooney
    Lindsey Mulrooney

    Post tags

    Day-Brite, Day-Brite 100th anniversary, energy efficiency, connected lighting, commercial lighting, general purpose lighting, industrial lighting, atrium lighting, commercial, day-brite fby, day-brite hby, education facilities lighting, high bay luminaires, high-performance luminaire, indoor lighting, industrial, manufacturing facilities lighting, retail lighting, retail outlets lighting, warehouse lighting, healthcare lighting, recessed lighting, surface lighting, performance lighting, FluxSpace, FluxSpace General Purpose Linear luminaires, general purpose linear luminaires

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